Censorship and media influence has been a big issue in the US since the last election. We’ve written about the concept of fake news in the past and the need for someone to take responsibility for attempting to report the news impartially, and how, at the moment, that role is being filled by companies like Google,
We’ve also spoken about net neutrality and the importance of keeping the internet as free of regulation as possible. So, it isn’t a surprise that censorship and media bias is being talked about again after a leaked Google video has surfaced where Google co-founder Sergey Brin has spoken of his dislike of the current president.
Bias and Power
That a person has an opinion on another person isn’t necessarily news. And just because a person has an opinion, it doesn’t mean that will change how they run their business. But in the polarized world we live in now it does seem to be a talking point that a relatively recent immigrant to the US is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his policies. That is because Google, and other similar companies, can sway public opinion in very subtle ways that many members of the public might not notice.
For example, if you look at these autocomplete suggestions for the president:
If you changed some of these to say; Donald Trump FBI, Donald Trump Russia, Donald Trump Impeachment, then you’re presenting a very different picture of the president in a way that many casual Googlers might not consciously notice.
Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Will
Interestingly this comes at a time when it seems Google are looking at entering a market where there is already censorship. China. Google
Google Censorship and the Future
As Google partners, and a company heavily involved in the digital world we are very curious about how the internet will evolve and what actions Google will, or won’t, take in the future. We’d love to hear what you think about Google, internet censorship, or anything else.